COLUMBUS — Facing a lengthy weather delay and some tough competition, the Beavercreek girls 3,200-meter relay team placed third in the Division I final, on Friday May 31 at Ohio State University’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
Beavercreek, which entered the race with the fastest time out of the previous week’s regionals at 9 minutes, 0.46 seconds, had the race lead at the halfway point. It was at the start of Lap 7 of the 8-lap event that Gahanna Lincoln was able to pull even with the Battlin’ Beavers. When the teams had started down the backstretch on the final lap, Worthington Thomas Worthington came out of seemingly nowhere to take the lead, while Beavercreek appeared to have slipped to fourth.
Worthington edged its local rival Lincoln by 0.05 of a second at the finish with a time of 8:55.85, with both anchor leg runners falling to the Owens track surface at the finish line. Beavercreek’s team of Juliann Williams, Jodie Pierce, Savannah Roark and Taylor Ewert, turned in a season-best time of 8:58.95.
“We went out and gave it our very best effort, so we can’t ask any more than that,” Pierce said.
“Ohio has some of the best 4x8s around, and for all of us to come out here and do the best we can, despite all these delays, it’s amazing,” added Ewert. “For three teams to turn in times under 9 minutes, it’s incredible.”
Ewert also brought up a good point: everybody is coming back for next season. Ewert, Pierce and Roark are juniors, while Williams is a sophomore.
“We’re a young team, and we’re gonna be back here next year,” Ewert said.
Moments after the first of two preliminary heats of the Division II girls 400-meter run had been contested at 3 p.m., Ohio High School Athletic Association officials cleared Owens Stadium of fans as a safety measure for lightning that was seen in the area. Just over two and a half hours later, officials said the meet would resume at approximately 5:57 p.m.
Then it rained.
Officials later allowed fans to return to their stadium seats, then sent everybody out again, before finally allowing fans to take their seats at around 6:30 p.m.
The meet was delayed for three hours and 50 minutes, before the second heat of the girls D-II 400 race resumed.
As a result, preliminary heats by Carroll’s Donovan LeJeunesse in the D-I boys 300-meter hurdles, and by the Beavercreek girls 1,600-meter relay team of Ashtyn Gluck, Abigail Hobbs, Pierce and Williams, ran well past presstime. We’ll provide a follow-up on their preliminary results Saturday night.
In Division III, Cedarville senior Trey Gruet advanced in the boys 300-meter hurdles preliminaries. Gruet placed fourth in his heat, seventh overall, with a time of 40.26 seconds. The D-III boys 300 hurdles final is set for a 10:40 a.m. start on Saturday.
The Carroll girls Division II 3,200-meter relay team of Ava Lickliter, Meghan Schrand, Rhiana Thomas and Alaina Casey did not finish on the podium, but they came away from the state meet able to hold their heads high. The Patriot foursome crushed their previous best time by nearly eight seconds, finishing 13th overall with a new season-best time of 9:43.62.
Saturday’s events were scheduled to run according to their original time table. No change in the timing of the events had been declared as of 9:06 p.m. Friday night.